(Home-My Story).......                 True, Tragic and Unnecessary Gay Youth Suicide Stories......................         (Espańol) 

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PART 2 (page 15 of 34)
A Basis For Modern Day Homophobia?
Should The Word Homosexual or Homosexuality Even Be In The Bible?
Remembering Matthew Shepard
The Contemporary Fear Gripping Conservative America is the Fear of the Normalization of Homosexuality

Is Some Homophobia Self-Phobia?

It Is An Outrage That The Words Homosexual, Homosexuals or Homosexuality Appear In Any Modern Translation Of The Bible
In my opinion (Gary Lynn), these shameful translations may rise to the level of blasphemy because these texts have been used as a sledgehammer against us in the LGBT community which has caused unending harm including dispiriting and grinding discrimination, which compels some of us to kill ourselves, and driving others to murder us, much of it in the name of God. To assume that the authors of the Holy Scriptures are against our model of homosexuality as it exists today (defined as two people of the same sex living in long-term committed, monogamous, loving relationships) is in my judgment a violation of intelligent thought, an ability that God gave to us in abundance. It is clear that the Bible was written with only heterosexual behavior in mind, not homosexual orientation. The word homosexual (as defined as a separate class of human being) wasn’t invented until 1869 in German (1) and 1892 in English. None of the ancient languages, Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic ever contained a word corresponding to the English or Spanish “homosexual” because the whole concept of orientation is a modern day understanding. The writers of the Bible had no concept of long term committed, monogamous, loving relationships between two men or two women of similar ages.  So to see it used in some of the most widely used translations of the Bible beginning in 1946 (Revised Standard Version-English) is at best very strange and disingenuous (giving a false appearance of simple straight thinking and fairness) and at worst has provided a basis for modern day homophobia which is an irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals by the religious and non-religious.  Read on below to see what homophobia has caused in our society. 

 

And I'm not alone in the above belief. In The Church and the Homosexual, John J. McNeill writes, "Can one merely accept what is referred to in English translations of the Bible as homosexuality as representing in the mind of the biblical authors what we refer to today by the same term?" (2) And going one step further, John Boswell concluded in his 1981 award-winning book Christianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality: "In spite of misleading English translations which may imply the contrary, the word 'homosexual' does not occur in the Bible: no extant text or manuscript, Hebrew, Greek, Syriac, or Aramaic, contains such a word."  This quote was found at: http://www.gaylibrary.com/area/GLbelief.htm.

 

More
The term "homosexual" dates from the late 19th century, when human sexuality first began to be studied as a science. There is no term that means homosexual orientation in the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts of the Bible. The authors of the Bible did not understand sexual orientation and thus did not write about it. Thus, when you see one of these words in an English translation of the Bible, it is important to dig deeper and find what the original Hebrew or Greek text really means.  I have done that here on on Page 5. http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibi.htm

 

Even More
The Reverend Mel White, author of Stranger At The Gate - To Be Gay and Christian in America writes on his website Soulforce "In 1958 [actually it was 1946], for the first time in history, a person translating that mysterious Greek word [Malakoi] into English decided it meant homosexuals, even though there is in fact no such word in Greek or Hebrew. But that translator made the decision for all of us that placed the word homosexual in the English [and eventually Spanish] language Bible for the very first time."
http://www.soulforce.org/resources/what-the-bible-says-and-doesnt-say-about-homosexuality/

Revered Translations of the Bible?
According to the research I did on BibleGateway.com and http://bible.oremus.org, the following English translations of the Bible (in their latest versions) have the words, homosexual(s) or homosexuality at least once and up to 4 times in the New Living Translation:
        New King James Version [1982] (1 Cor. 6:9)
        New International - U. K. [1984] (1 Cor. 6:9)

        New International Version [1984] (1 Cor. 6:9)
        Amplified Bible [1987] (1 Cor. 6:9)
        New American Standard Bible¨[1995] (1 Cor. 6:9; 1 Tim 1:10)
        Contemporary English Version [1995] (1 Cor. 6:9; 1 Tim 1:10)
        New International Reader's Version [1998] (1 Cor. 6:9)
        English Standard Version [2001] (1 Cor. 6:9; 1 Tim 1:10)
        Holman Christian Standard Bible [2003] (1 Cor. 6:9; 1 Tim 1:10)
        Today's New International Version [2005] (1 Cor. 6:9; 1 Tim 1:10)
        New Living Translation [2007] (Lev. 18:22; Lev 20:13; 1 Cor. 6:9; 1 Tim 1:10)

The following English translations of the Bible do
not use either the words homosexual(s) or homosexuality:
        Wycliffe New Testament (1382)

        The King James Version (1611)
        The Darby Translation (1890)
        Young's Literal Translation (1898)
        New Revised Standard Version (1989)
        The 21st Century King James Version (1994)
        The American Standard Version (1995)
        Worldwide English New Testament (1998) 

        The Message (2002)
        The New Century Version (2005) 


And remember that it is in the verse, 1 Cor. 6:9 that I covered on
Page 5, where the Bible experts can't agree as to what the key Greek words “malakoi” and “arsenokoitai” mean. And yet by going along with the decision to use these controversial and questionable translations from the original Greek to the English words homosexual(s) and homosexuality in these verses, it puts these "revered" translations out on the proverbial limb. But what they are going to find out is that the limb is slowly but surely being cut off and a bit of their reputations with them. As noted above, more and more scholars are now agreeing that the use of the modern English words homosexual(s) and homosexuality in translating these ancient documents is highly inappropriate.

Also what is really ironic is that even to this day I personally prefer the New Living Translation of the Bible in spite of its being the worst offender when it comes to using either the word homosexual(s) or homosexuality.  It just seems to be more in tune with the modern way of speaking than the other translations, except on the one huge area of disagreement. I vigorously throw out the dirty bath water, but not the baby, so to speak. 

 

To read about the other important reason that the word homosexual should never appear in the Bible Click Here.
    


Remembering Matthew Shepard and the Results of Homophobia - Hate Crimes
If you want to remind yourself of what homophobia does to a society, all you have to do is remember the brutal beating and murder of a gay college student named Matthew Shepard. Shortly after midnight on October 7, 1998, 21-year-old Shepard met Aaron James McKinney  and Russell Arthur Henderson  in a gay bar in Laramie, Wyoming. McKinney and Henderson offered Shepard a ride in their car. Subsequently, Shepard was robbed, pistol whipped, tortured, tied to a fence in a remote, rural area, and left to die out on the freezing prairie.  Still tied to the fence, Shepard was discovered eighteen hours later by a cyclist, who at first thought that Shepard was a scarecrow. At the time of discovery, Shepard was still alive, but in a coma.  Shepard suffered a fracture from the back of his head to the front of his right ear. He had severe brain stem damage, which affected his body's ability to regulate heart rate, body temperature and other vital signs. There were also about a dozen small lacerations around his head, face and neck. His injuries were deemed too severe for doctors to operate. Shepard never regained consciousness, remained on full life support and passed away on October 12, 1998 at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Wyoming.  McKinney and Henderson were found guilty of felony murder and kidnapping and will spend the rest of their lives in prison without the possibility of parole.

 

To understand the pain and tragedy of Matthew Shepard's murder from the point of view of his mother, you just have to read Judy Shepard's account of how it all happened, "The Meaning of Matthew - My Son's Murder in Laramie, and a World Transformed".  Once I started reading this book I really had a hard time putting it down. It was so heart-wrenching to read how these two animals masquerading as humans could be so calculatingly cruel and brutal to a gay college kid they had just met.  At times life is truly not fair. 

 


 

http://www.matthewsplace.com/ - By and for LGBTQ Youth
. . . . . . . . .
 

In 2008 7,783 hate crimes were voluntarily reported to the FBI

 

One hate crime takes place almost every hour of every day in the USA

 

1 out of every 6 hate crimes is committed on the basis of sexual orientation

 

Click Here To See the Video about Joining the We Give A Damn.org Campaign to Reduce Hate Crimes against members of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community    

"The roots of homophobia are fear.  Fear and more fear." - George Weinberg *
The consequences of homophobia is to stereotype gay people and then to define them in negative ways and when we do that we are able to treat them negatively and brutally because we then fear them. Fear does terrible things to a society. When people are afraid they have to find scapegoats and then they want to get rid of those people who [they think] are the bad guys any possible way. And the cheapest way of getting a feeling that we’re a group, a family, a unit is to make an "other". Throughout history, with all different groups, civil rights with the blacks, anti-Semitism with the Jews, is to have an "other" and homosexuals are unfortunately are the new "other". There is something about human nature to always look for an outsider, something that is different, and something that is indeed different we do have tremendous fear about and of course also ignorance about. (3)

Are We Still Living In Small Nomadic Tribes?
Fear of the other probably had survival value at one time. If you were living in or among small nomadic tribes you might have a fear of other people that was based on the reality and not only among yourselves, but also from the more settled communities along their path. Everybody who wasn't from your tribe was a threat and merited fear.  So this is why to some extent we should have sympathy for people who are prejudiced against others and understand that maybe a basically rational response to this deep feeling of alarm in us is exactly what it is [and no more] so we shouldn’t become equally prejudiced against the people who carry these prejudices. So the idea is to get them to see that their fear is really groundless. (3)

Fear and Sexuality
So, it’s about fear and not understanding what love is about. And a component of love is sexuality. But sexuality can be very scary if you take a moment to think about your own experiences with it especially in your adolescence - and this is true whether you're a homosexual or a heterosexual. As Bishop John Shelby Spong says in his book on page 23, Living in Sin-A Bishop Rethinks Human Sexuality, "No aspect of our humanity is invested with more anxieties, yearning, emotions, and needs than is our sexual nature.  So, sex is a major arena in which the prejudice of human beings finds expression." . . . ."[And] behind prejudice there is . . . fear.  We reject [out of fear] that which we cannot manage.  We condemn [out of fear] what we do not understand.  We set up means of control to render powerless those dynamic realities we know to be powerful [like sex]. . . . . . This fact accounts for the anger and even the violence that erupts when sexual control mechanisms [set up by the majority] are publically challenged.  Those [in the minority] who organize their lives differently [like the new "other", the homosexuals], who adopt values that violate the prevailing sexual taboos [or controls], are subject to hate, threat, even attack, and sometimes murder." These prejudices against people who organize their lives differently, homosexuals, provide many people [with] their security, and when they are threatened, it unsettles them in a very deep way and they respond violently and hatefully. (3)

 

 

 

Our Fears Can Unfortunately Become The Basis For Our Understanding of God's Will

And the problem with homophobia is aggravated when we confuse these fears and lack of understanding with God's will. On page 157, Bishop Spong in the above cited book goes on to say that "human fears erect barriers that we identify with God's will.  Then our prejudice, instructed by these barriers, rejects the people or things that are outside our barriers or our understanding."  (3) 

What Man Would Want To Be Treated Like A Woman?
And the thing that frightens men about homosexuality is that they think about a man allowing himself to be treated like a woman and there’s nothing worse, flying in the face of patriarchy, than for a “privileged” man, being male instead of female, to allow himself to be treated like a female. Their thoughts are “Who would want that?” So following this line of thought, many would say that
it is the hatred of women (misogyny) which is the fuel for homophobia.  Why does it always work when the college football coach berates and humiliates his players by calling them a bunch of “fifth grade girls?” It is because the worst thing that you can do to a man is to call him a woman. Men who are not men in whatever way a patriarchy wants us to be threatens masculine power and it’s seemingly too much to bear. (3) . . . G. Rattray Taylor, in his book "Sex in History", finds a universal phenomenon in patriarchal cultures: these cultures always tend to combine a strongly subordinating view of women with a repression and horror of male homosexuality.  Whereas cultures based on matriarchal principle are inclined to combine an enhancement of the status of women with a relative tolerance for male homosexual practices. (4)

A Soldier In The Army For The Lord?
So for men, if you combine our fear of the other, fear of sex and fear of being feminine, homophobia is well grounded in our psyche. Think of the brutal beating of killing of Matthew Shepard [as described above] and so many others over the decades and beyond and you can see the results of homophobia, how it legitimizes violence and discrimination. Because the church teaches that homosexuality is a perversion, it’s wrong, it’s sinful, it creates an environment in which gay people become victims and become abused. People feel empowered by violence against gays and lesbians and they will always say that it’s in the Bible; therefore I’m executing God’s will. They say that “they’re a soldier in the army for the Lord,” that “they have to purge this land of these abominations”. The Archbishop Desmond Tuto said “we have very perversely used “difference” to justify cruelty of the most viscous sort. I compare homophobia to the injustice of apartheid and that is all contrary to the heart of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (3)

Homophobia is The Sin, Not Homosexuality

So the sin with which we should be concerned is not homosexuality, since it isn’t a sin. But the sin however, is homophobia which is so despicable, because it is authored in the name of Holy Scripture by religious people. The Bible is an incredibly powerful weapon – people use it as a weapon to justify violence, torture and death. So we have to be very careful about this scripture that people hold tight to and be clear that the Bible is about compassion and love, because otherwise The Bible will be used to cause so much havoc. (3)  [Click Here to read more about homophobia or the Homophobic Agenda.]

 

The Contemporary Fear Gripping America is the Fear of the Normalization of Homosexuality

The Contemporary fear gripping America appears to be a fear of the normalization of Homosexuality. What a strange pathology this is----fear that the sexual identity and practices of a minority will somehow taint the identity and practices of the majority.  Someone has said that the fear of homosexuals has replaced the fear of communism in American life, and as Americans always seem to need something to fear, homosexuality is an ideal candidate for that role.  Gay marriage is seen to threaten heterosexual marriage to such an extent that constitutional amendments must be designed to prevent it, although no one seems prepared to propose similar legislation to prohibit divorce, which is a far greater threat to marriage and the family, and on which subject Jesus himself had distinct views.  On homosexuality, he had nothing to say.  This irrational fear of the sexual other is all the more dangerous because it conceals itself within the sanctions of religion.  Homophobia is the most current example of how good people can end up doing and believing bad things. 

 

The examples could go on.  Fear is no policy; it represents the absence of courage and a poverty of imagination.  To be defined by our fears is to accept as normal the lowest possible level of emotional intelligence.  The risk of indulging in the fear factor is that not only will we not overcome our fears, but we will become dependent upon the means to control and contain them.  For example, in our fear of terror and terrorists we are often tempted to resort to the very tactic that we fear and despise in our adversaries.  Thus in Abu Ghraib [notorious prison in Iraq] we engage in torture and humiliation to fight our enemies, making their tactics our own, and in Guantanamo Bay we refuse to apply to the prisoners there, whom we fear, the rights we would expect for ourselves.  This, how easily we become the prisoners of our own fears and hold hostage our own principles.  (6)

 

 

 

How Our Own Fears Become a Paranoid Hatred of Anything Different

 

Jim Forest [sometimes misspelled as Forrest] in a wonderful article on the meaning of Christmas entitled "Be Not Afraid" [Sojourners, December 1983, pages 14-15] recounts an old rabbinical story about the meaning of the night.  The rabbi asks one of his students, "When can one know that the night has ended and the day has begun?"  "Is it," one student suggests, "that moment when you can tell the difference between a sheep and a dog?" "No," says the rabbi, "that isn't it." "Is it," asks another, "when you can see the difference between a fig tree and an olive tree?" "Not that either," says the rabbi. "Rather," he says, "it is that moment when you can look at a face never seen before and recognize the stranger as a brother or sister.  Until that moment, no matter how bright the day, it is still the night." [Same story paraphrased in the sermon "Always Beginners"]

 

Most of us, Forest adds, live in that night most of our lives.  We are trained to accept that night by our families, schools, country, and often by the church itself.  We are carefully schooled not to recognize brothers or sisters but rather to see friends or enemies, us versus them.  We are trained to see labels that allow us to dehumanize and dominate others: chauvinistic labels like Jap or geek; racist labels like kike or nigger; sexist labels like dyke or queer.  Our own fear, anger and distrust become a paranoid hatred of anything or anyone different.  (5) 

 

 

 

 

Is Some Homophobia Self-Phobia?


ScienceDaily (Apr. 6, 2012) — Homophobia is more pronounced in individuals with an unacknowledged attraction to the same sex and who grew up with authoritarian parents who forbade such desires, a series of psychology studies demonstrates.

The study is the first to document the role that both parenting and sexual orientation play in the formation of intense and visceral fear of homosexuals, including self-reported homophobic attitudes, discriminatory bias, implicit hostility towards gays, and endorsement of anti-gay policies. Conducted by a team from the University of Rochester, the University of Essex, England, and the University of California in Santa Barbara, the research will be published the April issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.


"Individuals who identify as straight but in psychological tests show a strong attraction to the same sex may be threatened by gays and lesbians because homosexuals remind them of similar tendencies within themselves," explains Netta Weinstein, a lecturer at the University of Essex and the study's lead author.

"In many cases these are people who are at war with themselves and they are turning this internal conflict outward," adds co-author Richard Ryan, professor of psychology at the University of Rochester who helped direct the research.

The paper includes four separate experiments, conducted in the United States and Germany, with each study involving an average of 160 college students. The findings provide new empirical evidence to support the psychoanalytic theory that the fear, anxiety, and aversion that some seemingly heterosexual people hold toward gays and lesbians can grow out of their own repressed same-sex desires, Ryan says. The results also support the more modern self-determination theory, developed by Ryan and Edward Deci at the University of Rochester, which links controlling parenting to poorer self-acceptance and difficulty valuing oneself unconditionally.

The findings may help to explain the personal dynamics behind some bullying and hate crimes directed at gays and lesbians, the authors argue. Media coverage of gay-related hate crimes suggests that attackers often perceive some level of threat from homosexuals. People in denial about their sexual orientation may lash out because gay targets threaten and bring this internal conflict to the forefront, the authors write.

The research also sheds light on high profile cases in which anti-gay public figures are caught engaging in same-sex sexual acts. The authors cite such examples as Ted Haggard, the evangelical preacher who opposed gay marriage but was exposed in a gay sex scandal in 2006, and Glenn Murphy, Jr., former chairman of the Young Republican National Federation and vocal opponent of gay marriage, who was accused of sexually assaulting a 22-year-old man in 2007, as potentially reflecting this dynamic.

"We laugh at or make fun of such blatant hypocrisy, but in a real way, these people may often themselves be victims of repression and experience exaggerated feelings of threat," says Ryan. "Homophobia is not a laughing matter. It can sometimes have tragic consequences," Ryan says, pointing to cases such as the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard or the 2011 shooting of Larry King.  Click Here to continue to read the article from ScienceDaily.

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*George Weinberg's pioneering book Society and the Healthy Homosexual first published in 1972, sent ripples of shock, disbelief and plain hostility through the community of professional American psychologists. George challenged the conventional notion of homosexuality as a disease and gave gay men and lesbians everywhere a solid theoretical basis for dignity and pride. The Oxford English Dictionary credits George Weinberg with coining the term 'homophobia' which is now a recognized term in the vocabulary of social theory and gay activism alike.

 

Click Here for What Parents of Gay and Lesbian Teens need to Know about Suicide - What Are The Warning Signs?

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Footnotes:
(1) According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia on the Internet, Karl-Maria Kertbeny coined the term homosexual in 1869 in a pamphlet arguing against a Prussian anti-sodomy law. 

(2) McNeill, John J., "The Church and the Homosexual", Boston, Beacon Press, 1976, 1993, page 38.
(3) This section is based on commentaries from the Documentary "For The Bible Tells Me So." The commentators are: Reverend Dr. Laurence Keene, Christian Church-Disciples of Christ; Brian Zachary Mayer, MAHL, Reform Rabbi; Reverend Peter Gomes, Harvard University; Reverend Steven Kindle, Clergy United; Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate-1984; Reverend Susan Sparks, American Baptist Church; Reverend Dr. Mel White, Founder of Soul Force; Right Reverend Richard Holloway, Bishop of Edinburgh (Ret.); Reverend Irene Monroe, Harvard Divinity School; Rabbi Steven Greenberg, Orthodox Rabbi; Reverend Jimmy Creech, Faith In America.
(4) McNeill, John J., "The Church and the Homosexual", Boston, Beacon Press, 1976, 1993, page 145.

(5) McNeill, John J., "Taking a Chance On God", Boston, Beacon Press, 1988, page 43. 
(6) Gomes, Peter J. "The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus", New York, HarperOne (An Imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers), 2007, page 106.


A Gay Teen Short Story ♂♂
GOD MADE ME THIS WAY by Grant Bentley

Church is so confusing for Zack.  His new pastor preaches nothing but hate and condemnation of gays and lesbians, but no matter how carefully he reads his Bible, he can’t find where it says God hates him.  Will things change when Zach's boyfriend Billy suggests that they all go to his church instead?    Click Here or on the icon to read the story.

 


Click for Page 16 - The Holy Spirit or The Literal Words?

Click for A Bisexual's Beliefs About God and Religion at The Present Time - Gary Lynn

 


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Their Message to a Gay Person is: Be alone. Live alone. Die alone.

 


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